Tom Brady spent the first 20 seasons of his Hall of Fame career playing for the Patriots, but now he’s elected to take his talents to the other side of the fence — in the NFC.
Brady officially signed with the Bucs in free agency last week, despite having won six Super Bowl rings with Bill Belichick and the Patriots organization. His decision to join a team that hasn’t won a playoff game since 2003 has been met with plenty of scrutiny, from fans and media members alike.
It’s been said that a major factor into his decision making was that Brady is looking forward to a new challenge, playing for a new organization, under a different coach, and that may be true. But apparently, according to a recent report from Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, the Patriots’ lack of weapons on offense factored in as well. It also states that the Bucs coaching staff compiled a report that diagnosed the speed and explosiveness issues on the Patriots offense and reads:
Arians’s report back was similar to [Bucs general manager Jason] Licht’s. As he looked at Brady’s tape, the veteran coach—who’d historically worked with big-armed Clydesdales like Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Palmer and Andrew Luck—saw a quarterback who could make every throw his offense required.
He also saw where Brady was being held back. The feeling was that with more speed and explosiveness around him—which the Bucs could give him with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard and Cam Brate—Brady wouldn’t be forced to hold the ball like he had his last year in New England, where he had slower skill position talent on hand.
That is certainly true, if looking at the Patriots offense from and X’s and O’s perspective. It’s been a strict horizontal passing game for the past two seasons now, and has lacked weapons to stretch the field vertically to keep opposing defenses honest. The Bucs, however, are loaded in that department, with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and OJ Howard.